Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Golden Shovels Awarded Today

It is always a pleasure to recognize our Montgomery County residents who have gone above and beyond to help their neighbors shovel out after a snowstorm. And this year, our heroes had a lot of work to do with snow totals ranging from 32.4 inches in the southern part of the County to 53.5 inches in northern areas of the County. Here are this year's Golden Shovel winners.

Rich Castillo and Family of Olney unselfishly shoveled out the homes and driveways of elderly neighbors.

Tom Cheplo of Bethesda enthusiastically used his snow blower to clear the sidewalks on both sides of the street, driveways and even part of the road. His neighbor said, “He is always helpful and a fine example of a good neighbor and citizen.”

Jeffrey Cohen of Rockville worked tirelessly with only a shovel and manual ice breaker to clear several snow piles allowing safe passage for school children and other neighbors.

Marcus Colyer and his 9-year-old son of Kensington cleared nine driveways, making his neighbors extremely grateful.

Roger Deshaies of Silver Spring used his snowblower to clear the sidewalks and driveways of seven houses on his block. He also cleared the crosswalk entrances at the end of the sidewalk multiple times, enabling children to walk safely to the local middle school.

Moe Gazafroudi of Gaithersburg cleared the driveways in his cul-de-sac. He also cleared a trail path of snow because many in the community use the path to walk their dogs.

Richard Hoye of Bethesda is a previous Golden Shovel Award winner. He continues to clear sidewalks in Bethesda and has invested his own money to purchase snow removal equipment so that he can better help his community.

Christine Kim of Olney, referred to as the “energizer bunny,” shoveled her senior-citizen neighbors’ driveways, walkways, steps and mailbox areas.

John Lee of Wheaton received four neighbor nominations. He cleared almost his entire block of snow, including driveways, walkways and sidewalks.

Andrea McCarren of WUSA Channel 9, while searching for those in need of shoveling in the Storm Tracker 9 vehicle, spotted a Bethesda woman and her young daughter with their snow-buried car. Beyond just worrying about the video she set out to get, Andrea mobilized an “all women shoveling flash mob” to clear and free the car after 20 minutes of rugged digging.

John Malone of Silver Spring organized neighbors to purchase a snow blower and then, when the major storm came in January, he cleared several pathways on his street—including one leading to the local elementary school so the students did not have to walk in the street.

Amy and Brian Palmer of Rockville gave Herculean efforts to clear snow from their neighborhood using shovels, salt and snowblowers. And after street plows left massive ice packs, they broke them up to further make sure the road was passable.

Earl Pfeiffer of Montgomery Village is 82 and shows no sign of slowing down. He tirelessly shoveled walkways and paths to the neighborhood school and with safety in mind, he cleared snow from buried fire hydrants.

Phelps Rogovoy and Casey Scufca of Germantown are neighbors who combined efforts during the major two-day storm to help another neighbor several times clear her driveway and walkway while her husband was away, serving in Afghanistan.

Larry Solomon of Olney assisted approximately 15 homeowners remove snow from their properties, sidewalks and streets. He also cleared sidewalks along both sides of the streets.

Mark Ujczo of Olney worked long hours and used his snow blower to clear his entire block and then went on to clear the public paths in and around the neighborhood common area. He also assisted shoveling out the sidewalks and driveways of several elderly neighbors.

Sofia and Nevan West of Rockville are 12-year-old twin siblings. They not only helped their mother shovel mountains of snow from their property, they also went to help a disabled neighbor shovel their driveway and sidewalk. And when a snow plow became stuck, they helped the driver shovel out the truck and even brought him a soda.

Thom Wolf of Takoma Park regularly cleared the sidewalks after every snowfall. All of his neighbors value his help, especially the elderly, the single mothers and those with physical injuries who could not clear the snow themselves.

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